Information for Families of Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: Getting Started
Early Hearing Detection and Intervention | EHDI Families & Caregivers | Info for Families and Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing | EHDI Providers | EHDI Resources | EHDI Glossary | 100 Babies Project | Newborn Screening
Feelings About Your Child Being Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Learning that your child is deaf or hard of hearing may have confirmed what you have already suspected or it may have come as a shock. Some parents easily accept a diagnosis. Others have a hard time accepting it, and it is often an ongoing process. Whatever your reaction, it is normal. Please remember that you are not alone.
You will have many decisions to make about your child’s care. You may also need to make important decisions while feeling overwhelmed. Keep in mind that parents make decisions based on the information they have at that time and what works best for their child and family. As your child develops and grows and your family gathers new information, your plans can change to meet your family’s needs or in response to new information.
This website provides resources from organizations that have experience working with families similar to yours. These organizations will happily help you address current and future concerns. We hope you find this information helpful.
What Can You Do Right Now?
The first few weeks and months after learning your child is deaf or hard of hearing can be a busy and overwhelming time. Here are some ideas to help you:
- Interact and communicate with your child
- Start communicating with your baby now
Bonding between a baby and parents happens naturally through close face-to-face interactions, playing and communicating during daily routines. Your baby can learn how to read your face and body, even if she can’t fully hear your spoken words.
Babies learn from things you do and say in everyday life. Talk to your child as you do daily tasks such as changing a diaper, giving a bath, or feeding a meal. Your child will also learn when you sing songs, do finger plays, and play games like peek-a-boo, pat-a-cake, and so-big.
Contact the District Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Coordinator for your county
An EHDI Coordinator is a very valuable resource who can help with everything from getting connected in your community to financing hearing aids or transitioning to school. Find your EHDI Coordinator here.
Keep a journal or notebook for your child
A notebook is the perfect place for keeping copies of clinical reports and important forms. Take this notebook to your child’s appointments too. If the doctor needs copies of reports, you will have them with you and you will have a place to store new materials too.
Seek support from family and friends
People who are close to you can be a great support. Invite the support people in your child’s life to participate in visits to the audiologist, early intervention meetings and parent groups.
Last updated 11/27/2019